Some input please, on spent rounds, casings...


March 12, 2012, 11:41 AM
A couple friends of mine and I do quite a bit of shooting. There are no plans in the near future for any of us to start reloading, although it may be something to entertain. For the time being, we canít simply see any benefit in leaving all those brass cases on the ground, going to waste. I often see bags of brass casings, in zip locks, selling at gun shows, and LGSís. Theyíre typically in bags of 100ís, in various calibers, ranging from $8 a bag, to $18 a bag. While all are cleaned, some have been de-primed, some not.
So, I started picking up the brass this weekend. I just about filled a 5 gallon bucket. Cases include 9mm, .40 SW, .45 ACP and .223. Also are a few .30 .30 casings. In a separate container, I have a couple gallon of .22, .22 MAG and .17 HMR casings.

Our main goal is just to sell these, or find someone locally who reloads, and offer these up towards more ammo. So here are a few questions.

Purchase a tumbler or Sonic Cleaner, with solution, and clean before selling/trading?

Is it worth the time to do so, in increasing value? OK to not de-prime?

Do the smaller rim-fire cases hold any recycle value? Was it worth pick them up?

Also, I spent some time retrieving spent rounds. While many are jacketed, Iíve still managed to collect a 100 or so pounds of lead.

Is it worth purchasing a melting pot, and pour into ingots?

Again, any input would be appreciated. Not at the stage to get into reloading, and we are by no means trying to make a ton of money, just trying to figure out the best way to salvage these, and put towards more ammo, instead of it just lying unused/recycled on the ground. Do I just take everything ďas isĒ to a reloader, and see what heís willing to give?

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March 12, 2012, 12:00 PM
Scrap brass is quite valuable, going for around 2$/pound now. So your easiest path to getting something for your effort is to sell it to a junk dealer who buys scrap metal.

As for selling to a reloader/gunshop, there will have to be more effort put into it. The cases would have to be sorted by caliber at the very minimum. You can't sell them for once fired unless you KNOW they were new factory shells that were fired by you, then picked up by you. If you arrive at that range to find brass already on the ground, you have no way of knowing if it was new factory brass. It could have been left by a reloader who knew it was on it's last firing.

It should be cleaned before sale, and stained/corroded cases put in the recycle bucket. The other option is to process each case by depriming, then tumbling them to clean them up. Some reloaders want all the case head stamps the same, like all winchester or remington cases.

It's labor intensive to clean by ultra sonic cleaners. Their capacity is limited, then they have to be rinsed, and dried before packaging. Best way is to deprime first, then US clean, that gets the primer residue out of the pocket and makes them dry faster. The price you could then ask for those cases would NOT make up for the hassle of producing them.

March 12, 2012, 12:08 PM
Thanks for the input. We strictly shoot on my property, so they are all cases fired once.
Any advise on the lead?

March 12, 2012, 12:17 PM
I would just sell the lead & jacket mix to a scrap yard as is.

I don't think smelting and casting it into ingots will get you anything but some blisters anf a bigger electric bill.

The problem is, selling it to a bullet caster involves shipping.
And if someone is gonna pay shipping on lead, they will probably pay a little more for foundry certified alloy of a known composition.


March 12, 2012, 12:25 PM
All metals are recyclable and are worth money. Whether or not it is worth it to you depends. If you are going to the recylcers anyway, why not deliver more metals that will put a few more dollars into your wallet? Even 22LR casings and spent primers are taken in by some recyclers. Almost all centerfire reloadable brass is worth more to a reloader than it is to a scrap metal recycler so the best thing is to sort out all brass and keep them sorted at least by caliber.

Most reloaders won't pay any extra for deprimed or tumbled brass, the big exception is .223 if they are guaranteed to have any primer crimps removed (trimmed to lenght would be a bonus, but you are now talking about quite a bit of labor or at least sorting and measuring).

If you have any thoughts about reloading, keep whatever cases you might reload because it would be worth way more to you later than it would fetch you now.

The lead, if cast into ingots (can be as simple as muffin pan shaped) is about $1/pound shipped.

March 12, 2012, 12:53 PM
If they are verified once-fired, many on THR maybe interested. How about putting them on sale in the Buy/Sell/Trade category?

March 12, 2012, 01:20 PM
Just my two cents,

But if your desire is to sell the brass as "once fired", clean them at the most. You might be better off keeping them just as they are.

Definitely do not de-prime/resize them.

Most of the common commercial brass contains a means of verifying 1x by way of the primer or primer sealers on the brass.

Absent those proofs, some folks ( myself included ) will pass on claims of 1x.

1x mainly applies to rifle brass, as pistol brass is commonly and regularly traded without such preconditions.

March 12, 2012, 01:21 PM
If you're gonna clean them I suggest you leave the primers in. A reloader can gain some information from those spent primers. I have purchased decapped, SS tumbled brass before. And I would prefer dirty brass with the primers in.

1. From the color of the primer and the headstamp, it's possible to tell if a lot of brass might be new, or whether it's definitely reloaded. And it's easier to identify sublots within headstamp.

2. I can somewhat tell the condition of a lot of brass when decapping. Newer brass tends to "ping" when decapping.

3. If the primer pocket is sealed, it will be evident while decapping. This case can be put in your once-fired pile.

4. It's easier to tell when a primer pocket is crimped. It's not always obvious by looking, but it's pretty obvious while decapping. Once identified, you can cut out the crimp and put the case in your once-fired pile.

5. It's also a (mild) safety issue if an unsized, decapped piece of brass were to get mixed in with a batch of sized brass.

6. Some folks prep and store at least some of their brass sized/decapped and/or trimmed/chamfered for long periods before reloading. Clean decapped brass can be a source of confusion.

March 12, 2012, 01:45 PM
Take the 22, 22 mag, and 17hmr and sell them at the scrapyard. The 9mm, 40, and 223 put them in bags of 100 as is (no cleaning) and sell them for around $4 a 100 plus shipping. The 45 around $5 a hundred plus shipping. Just my opinion.

March 12, 2012, 02:04 PM
Where is NW OH?

March 12, 2012, 02:06 PM
kingmt, that's North West Ohio.....I'm just outside of Defiance

March 13, 2012, 06:05 AM
Lol @ GLOOB : 1 minute apart :)

March 13, 2012, 08:14 AM
I just turned in six five gallon buckets of just .22 brass casings to the recyclers yesterday. I got $330.15.:) You can sell the centerfire brass to reloaders for sure. Processing is not necessary but picking it up shortly after shooting it versus doing it once a year will make it more attractive to us reloaders. IMHO the 9MM and 40 S&W will not fetch much cause there is a ton of it out there and will get slightly above recycle prices at best. The 45 ACP and other pistol/revolver or rifle brass will do a bit better. Some a LOT better depending on if it is not common. In time you will get a feel for what to do with it for max profit------BUT it is all worth something to somebody so don't just abandon it.:D

March 13, 2012, 09:50 AM
I would look at buying it if you were local but that is a long way from me.

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